January 19, 2017

"The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word 'We.' 'We the People.' 'We shall overcome.' Yes, we can."

President Obama leaves a final note to his fellow Americans.

125 comments:

Jason said...

Spoken like a true Borg member of the Collective.

Chanie said...

Such humility.

tcrosse said...

I go We-We on the opposition.

traditionalguy said...

"We" when spoken by Obama means himself and Chancellor Merkel, the Ruler of the European Union. And that's all it has ever meant.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

Speaking of humility, not to mention general non-smarminess, did BHO mention that his poll numbers are crushing DJT's?

Earnest Prole said...

It's been fascinating to watch the American left abandon individual rights–based politics (with the exception of abortion rights) in favor of the collective. Apparently they have forgotten this ain’t Europe.

Mark said...

"The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word 'We.'

The single most concern of Barack Obama -- and it isn't "we." It is "power," being "powerful."

The statement is telling, but not in the way he thinks.

MackM said...

I'm glad he'll stay in DC and remain engaged, with his experience and young age he still can do a lot of good.

You will be missed. Your country still needs you, now more than ever.

MayBee said...

It's too bad Obama never was as good as his best words. It's a shame there was a reality to what was once the idea of Obama.

Reddington said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Democracy -- not because freedom, not because the justice of self-government, not because it is only right that you have a say in the laws that will be applied to you. No. Democracy because power.

Darrell said...

Says the man who holds the record for the number of "Is" in every speech.

Drago said...

"We are the ones we have been waiting for".......to leave.

Chanie said...

The arc of "progress" apparently bends toward soliciting signups for your social media listserv: "And if you'd like to stay connected, you can sign up here to keeping getting updates from me."

Mark said...

Democracy because in numbers there is strength, strength to obtain and yield power.

Tommy Duncan said...

Obama has the same characteristics as the door poop on your shoe tread. Regardless of what you do you can't get rid of it once you have stepped in it. We stepped in it twice: 2008 and 2012.

The endless goodbye will be followed by the endless unwanted opinion of a former President trying to remain relevant.

Drago said...

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman: "Speaking of humility, not to mention general non-smarminess, did BHO mention that his poll numbers are crushing DJT's?"

Ah yes, the poll numbers.

Again.

I wonder if that will make Trumps Executive Order pen go dry. I find that...unlikely.

tcrosse said...

Speaking of humility, not to mention general non-smarminess, did BHO mention that his poll numbers are crushing DJT's?

Is he running for something ? Does this mean he gets to stay until Trump's poll numbers improve ?

donald said...

There was never any reality to Barack Hussein Obama.

AReasonableMan said...

This is a reasonably fair assessment of Obama from the right. I don't agree with all of it but it is not bat-shit crazy either.

n.n said...

We and our, as in "We the People" and "our Posterity." It's unfortunate that the Supreme Court justices peered in to the twilight and saw fit to excise the latter.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

tcr,

I was just wondering if he decided to emulate the way DJT spoke at his concert thing.

I.e., did BHO also brag about poll numbers?

mockturtle said...

Looks like CNN is obliquely suggesting an assassination. I realized this is a rash statement but:

CNN: Inaugural Assassination

Bob Loblaw said...

We will not miss Obama's presence in the oval office.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

Y'all must realize that Althouse has positioned posts such that we're forced to compare these two speakers.

Right?

n.n said...

At least in the national charter, it is also God. A concept that mitigates malignant narcissism and corruption.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

Mock,

Could you also link to a piece re chem trails on that website?

Carry on.

Bob Loblaw said...

Speaking of humility, not to mention general non-smarminess, did BHO mention that his poll numbers are crushing DJT's?

Yes, Democrats poll amazingly (and somewhat suspiciously) well. That's why Hillary Clinton is to be inaugurated tomorrow.

Mark said...

I have not looked it up, but I would wager that the last time that so much of Congress refused to attend the presidential inauguration -- they were Democrats then too -- was the inauguration of 1861.

If someone were to take a shot at Trump, whether a militant leftist or someone whose passions have been so inflamed by the left, it should surprise no one.

mockturtle said...

"The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word 'We.'

Yeah, as in 'That's not who we are'. He knows nothing about who WE are. And doesn't want to.

Fabi said...

President I, Me, Mine said what?

Bob Loblaw said...

Obama has the same characteristics as the door poop on your shoe tread.

Buddy, I don't know what kind of doors you have, and I don't want to know.

MackM said...

Proud of the Democratic Congress men and women for standing on principle.

Bob Loblaw said...

If someone were to take a shot at Trump, whether a militant leftist or someone whose passions have been so inflamed by the left, it should surprise no one.

Any leftist who's thinking about that should remember two words: "President Pence".

Sebastian said...

"We": fake and phony to the very end. There's no we in O.

Roughcoat said...

Oh, shut up Barack. And be gone.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

Lucky for y'all I'm here to point out the obvious (though not to y'all), that way y'all won't keep blathering about obvious faults of DJT.

OTOH, I'm limiting the Meadehouse lulz. But, I don't mind because it's mean that those two enjoy tricking y'all.

gspencer said...

"We want you gone !"

Mark said...

If they thought they could get away with it, if this were a third-world country, you can bet that we would see a coup so that they could hang on to power. None of this "peaceful transition of power" crap for them. If this was 150 years ago, you can bet they would again start another civil war.

Bill said...

Mark my words: He's going to be the ex-president who wouldn't shut up.

Birkel said...

We elected Donald Trump.
I like this word we.

MikeD said...

Chanie said "The arc of "progress" apparently bends toward soliciting signups for your social media listserv: "And if you'd like to stay connected, you can sign up here to keeping getting updates from me."!
Wins the thread for me!

Henry said...

That may be the most cynical political speech I've ever read. It's not ghost-written. It's corpse-ridden. It's like lyrics by Aaron Burr too opportunistic to make the final cut of Hamilton.

Here's George Bush's final speech.

Bush's speech has it's sad justifications and painful excuses. But it doesn't pivot in its entirety on political suasion.

Jupiter said...

I think he means the royal "we".

Steve Uhr said...

How long before America is great again and how will I know?

Henry said...

its not it's

Damn.

Jupiter said...

I guess we should be grateful his chosen pronoun doesn't contain an x.

JRoberts said...

"President Obama leaves a final note to his fellow Americans"

Given how "classy" Obama has been over the last few weeks, I assume he spray painted his message on the walls of the Oval Office.

chuck said...

We are not amused.

Bob Loblaw said...

This is a reasonably fair assessment of Obama from the right. I don't agree with all of it but it is not bat-shit crazy either.

I don't agree with Douthat on everything, but he's right about this (regarding the ACA):

"...there are many losers but the insurance expansion is large enough to matter. And that expansion, and with it the promise of near universal health insurance, will be extremely difficult (morally as well as politically) for Republicans to unwind. The system may look different after the G.O.P. is done with it, but I suspect its coverage guarantee will basically survive. "

The political impetus behind the ACA hasn't gone away: Health care in the US is so expensive there are large numbers of people who will never be able to afford it. It would be one thing if that were true in every country, but it's not. The Republicans are going to change the system, hopefully putting it on sound financial footing if nothing else, but they're going to be out of power pretty quickly if they end up with something that has millions of people using the ER again as first line medical care. The Republican base won't tolerate that, and their internal polling will show it.

Jupiter said...

AReasonableMan said...
"This is a reasonably fair assessment of Obama from the right."

"The right" being Ross Douthat, writing in NYT.

Listen ARM, I will give you a fair assessment of Obama, from the right. When Obama said he wanted to fundamentally transform the United States, he meant it. He is also going to fundamentally transform whatever he had for breakfast. It'll be coming out his fundament in a day or so. Hope you like the change.

ndspinelli said...

He used "I" or "me" 78 times in his farewell speech.

chuck said...


> but they're going to be out of power pretty quickly if they end up with something that has millions of people using the ER again as first line medical care.


CDC: "ER use overall has not changed significantly after the first full year of ACA implementation." I suspect that use of the emergency room is more of a cultural thing. Why go to the hassle of a private physician, appointments, etc. when you can just go to the emergency room? In any case, I didn't think the ACA would make a difference, and apparently that is so. What might make a difference is doctors available at Walmarts, malls, etc.

Michael K said...

did BHO also brag about poll numbers?

The rage and panic on the left is amusing to watch.

The phony pose of sarcasm and fake amusement adds spice to a dish best served cold.

mockturtle said...

He used "I" or "me" 78 times in his farewell speech.

While 'we' may be the most powerful word in our democracy, it's not
BHO's favorite, by any means.

David in Cal said...

"And if you'd like to stay connected, you can sign up here to keeping getting updates from me."

This is very much against the tradition of the outgoing President, namely, going out. Either devotiong himself to doing good works, like Jimmy Carter. Or taking a new hobby, like George W. Bush painting. Or seducing young women... But, Obama apparently intends to remain in the political center.

I don't think it will work. Once he's out of power, people won't follow him. Other ambitious Democrats will be vying for attention.

If he wanted my advice, I'd suggest he run for the Senate. He could perhaps became a long-time leader in that body.

David Begley said...

We are happy you are gone.

rhhardin said...

In _Vale of Laughter_ Joe Sandwich describes his Uncle Hamilton

[Uncle Hamilton] was an absolute miracle of colorlessness. My father couldn't stand him around. He was so dim and bland and bumbling that these qualities, or lack of them, became in themselves an irritant of a positive sort. For example, he was always lost in the shuffle conversationally, so that in any group discussion all you heard from him were the beginnings of statements, the rest being trampled or drowned out by more definite types, such as we all were here. So that in memory now I can hear him saying "If you ask my opinion," but not the opinion; "what the whole thing boils down to," but not what it boiled down to; "experience has taught me," but not what it did -- and so on. Perhaps he finally didn't even bother to complete his thoughts, knowing there would have been no point.

That's Obama.

Fabi said...

He used "I" or "me" 78 times in his farewell speech.

That figures -- I had 82 in the office pool.

Michael K said...

Health care in the US is so expensive there are large numbers of people who will never be able to afford it. It would be one thing if that were true in every country, but it's not.

Do you read the British newspapers ?

Do you know what the "Liverpool pathway" is ?

How about "NICE"?

I spent 40 years providing the same level of care to the uninsured as those with insurance.

Could we have a better system ? Yes. I have spent years researching this topic.

Will politicians construct such a program ? Probably not. Not enough graft, as Insty says.

rhhardin said...

The most powerful word in a democracy is fuck.

Unless you're dealing with feminists, then it's cunt.

Bob said...

Thank goodness he's gone. Nothing personal against him (he is clearly a charming and intelligent man), but the most reassuring thing about his presidency is the last six years of a Republican congress which made Obama's words more memorable than his deeds.

CWJ said...

Final? If only...

mockturtle said...

Lower-case chuck suggests What might make a difference is doctors available at Walmarts, malls, etc.

Absolutely! If a person is in need of a doctor, he/she doesn't want to wait several weeks to get in to see his/her physician. Walk-in clinics charging fee-for-service is a great option for primary care. And if no insurance is processed, the fee will be less. Most people aren't going to meet their annual deductible, anyway, unless they have major surgery.

Eme Eses said...

All wee-wee'd up.

AReasonableMan said...

Steve Uhr said...
How long before America is great again and how will I know?


When you can once again buy a US made TV.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

Mike K, as a trained doc, can suss out the old symptom switcheroo diagnostic thingy.

It goes like this: if something seems like a potatoe it is actually a tomato.

As a bonus these calls, totally coincidentally, happen to be what the diagnostician doc hopes for and claims psychological satisfaction from. Science.

Carry on.

Gahrie said...

Proud of the Democratic Congress men and women for standing on principle.

What principle? The principle that elections don't count unless I win?

Gahrie said...

When you can once again buy a US made TV.

At this point I'd settle for an incandescent light bulb....

Ken B said...

The most powerful word in fascism is "we" too.

Bay Area Guy said...

"We shall overcome"

Those are, indeed, powerful words.

We overcame the Colonialists of Great Britain

We overcame the slaveholders in the Democratic Party

We overcame the Ku Klux Klan of the Democratic Party

We overcame the Nazis

We overcame the Communists

It's quite a damn success, wouldn't you say?

We shall overcome the collectivists, the socialists, the atheists, and any other group that wants to undo this great American experiment in Liberty.

Captain Drano said...

Thank you for that, Bay Area Guy.
(from a former Bay Area gal.)

cf said...

I am so Happy tonight, what a Great Moment we get to Witness.

I refuse to let folks like @NPRnews in their hideous current character ruin this Night.

I Liked what Birkel said, it fits:

We elected Donald Trump.
I like this word we.

1/19/17, 7:09 PM

poured myself my usual red wine while i get dinner ready, and I lift it now, and toast: Yes. We. Can. America can be Great Again. America is Great Anew anyway every day, or can be. the results of the electoral College where Clinton lost more than Trump was proof of how great this construct of a nation deeply Is. Godspeed, America. Most High Good, Unameable One, most True Mind, guide us each and every one. And Lord bless Donald Trump. (sigh. and Lord bless Barack Obama) Clink!

AReasonableMan said...

Gahrie said...
At this point I'd settle for an incandescent light bulb....


This is good article highlighting just how hard it will be to bring back manufacturing to the US. Camera drones were the next big thing. Most of the technology and enthusiasm for the devices began in the US. 3D Robotics, a US firm, was a very well funded firm with very good technology and a good but not perfect product. DJI, thanks to the remarkable manufacturing pipelines that the Chinese have constructed in Shenzhen, just killed them, quickly and brutally, and now dominates the market. They did this through vertical integration, which is impossible in the US due to the impoverished manufacturing base.

Even with a good lead we lost.

MackM said...

"I am so Happy tonight, what a Great Moment we get to Witness."

Enjoy it while it lasts. Senate Intelligence Committee hearings coming up.

Todd Roberson said...

He ain't no ways tired.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word 'We.' 'We the People.' 'We shall overcome.' Yes, we can.

So apparently Atlas Shrugged isn't the only Ayn Rand novel from which he took the wrong lesson.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Obama's all we-we'd up because he has to leave the white house.

Gahrie said...

"yes we can"

Isn't that cultural appropriation?

Fabi said...

Senate Intelligence Committee -- drink!

Real American said...

One of these things is not like the others...

AprilApple said...

Dear Obama,
We don't worship you, you lying hollywood jackass. Get lost!

Comanche Voter said...

What you mean "We" Paleface as Tonto said to the Lone Ranger. Just as Groucho Marx said he wouldn't want to belong to a club that would accept him as a member, I'm not certain that I want to part of any "we" that includes Obama. Blow that smoke up someone else's heinie.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

We are happy to see you go.

D. said...

" My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over... Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule. But there is a higher Power, by whatever name we honor Him, who ordains not only righteousness but love, not only justice but mercy.
— Gerald Ford, Swearing-in Ceremony speech"

Alex said...

He might as well said "we have nothing to lose but our chains!".

Prick.

Big Mike said...

He says lots of wonderful things in his prepared speeches. After eight years only a fool believes that he means any of it. (Actually, after eight weeks it was pretty obvious.)

With politicians one learns to watch what they do and ignore what they say.

gadfly said...

Paraphrasing a memorialized quote from another Dem-Ass President:

It depends on what the meaning of the word "we" is. If the--if he--if "we" means us and us folks never have been engaged, that is not--that is one thing. If "we" means there is no us, that was a completely true statement....Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of relationship with Mr. Obama, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.

Jupiter said...

Bay Area Guy said...

"We overcame the Communists".

Really? How come they are running our universities?

mockturtle said...

With politicians one learns to watch what they do and ignore what they say.

Amen to that, Big Mike! The type of superficial talent is why he is so popular with the superficial Hollywood celebs.

Virgil Hilts said...

Obama was a charming and well groomed "small man" Chicago politico who, when elected, remained what he was. I am anxious to see if Trump is able to overcome his smallness. At least he is not surrounding himself with sycophants. Obama did not have the guts to surround himself with anything other than toadies and the utterly loathsome Valerie Jarrett.

M Jordan said...

Ironically, Barry preferred the singular form if this pronoun, I.

Paul said...

Memo to Obama... Little dogs bark, big dogs growl, but all you do is yap.

LarsPorsena said...

Only three kinds of people should use 'we':
Royalty
Pregnant women
People with tape worms

Static Ping said...

I liked it better when Al Capone gave the speech in the original Chicago-ese.

JaimeRoberto said...

We won.

ddh said...

Lars Porsena

President Obama is kind of skinny, isn't he?

BusinessFirstFamily.com said...

Hey Ann, great post. I think it really sums up Obama's message. As long as we don't find out what does bankruptcy do on a national level, we may be able to increase the amount of prosperity in our country. Of course, Obama will deserve much more credit than he gets.

Phil 3:14 said...

What do you mean "we" Kemosabe.

Charlie Eklund said...

Don't forget wee wee'd up.

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exiledonmainstreet said...

Obama did not have the guts to surround himself with anything other than toadies and the utterly loathsome Valerie Jarrett.

1/19/17, 9:54 PM

And Jarrett's daughter has just been assigned by CNN to cover the DOJ.

Gee, why don't people trust the media? 'Tis a mystery.

Yancey Ward said...

Obama is going to learn a hard lesson in the next year- ex-Presidents don't fade away by choice- they fade away because of amendment 22. They have no political power left, and it will be the Democrats that bring him to heel, if for no other reason than to put someone in his place at the head of the party in order to run against Trump or Pence in 2020.

A month from now, and no one in either party will give a flying fuck what Obama thinks about anything.

Wilbur said...

Obama's going to be ubiquitous after the election.

Who else of any prominence does the Left have to shove out there to scream about DJT? Pelosi? Schumer? Ellison? Streisand?

Good luck wit that, Bunky.

Quaestor said...

President Obama leaves a final note to his fellow Americans.

All nine of them.

It's not final. It's not even penultimate. It's just Line 9643, Act LXXXIII, scene 129 of the longest soap opera in the history of surfactants. Unctuous, oleaginous, saponaceous, Obama is the greasiest gab artiste since Sam Wilberforce made his unhappy listeners want to trade in the English tongue for Pig Latin.

Nevertheless, the 44th President of the United States has one remarkable talent that's worth a begrudged nod — no one else in history could string so many words together and fail to utter even one truth, even by sheer randomness of vocabulary than can our Barack.

The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word 'We'. 'We the People.' 'We shall overcome.' 'Yes, we can.'

Hogwash. Well, it's not hogwash, really. It's a bit too callow for that. (Ever notice how Obama writes and speaks like a high school valedictorian?) His style needs to mature awhile to rate the hogwash invective. Call it pigbath. For Mr. Obama's information, the single most powerful word in our Republic is evict, as in We evict you, Mr. Obama.

MadisonMan said...

I appreciate that Obama tries to link his oratory to the Constitution and to MLK Jr., but it fails IMO. We in the first two actually does refer to a group. We in the last refers to Obama, royally.

Cringe.

wildswan said...

When is a Democrat going to talk about the workers?

The only workers Obama knows about are those who "throw [themselves] into the joyous work of citizenship". Not sure what "the joyous work of citizenship" consists of - maybe signing up for Barry's joyous listserve where you joyously hear Barry for more years than ever, talking and talking. Or joyously watching poll numbers rise and rise for the Democrats till finally (unexpectedly!) the Democrats completely disappear.

More Joyous Citizenship:
Being a police officer in Chicago?
Being investigated by the IRS for organizing a conservative group?
Being pro-life and being told to leave New York by Cuomo?
Being taxed in Connecticut?
Being accused of sexual assault in college and joyously having no rights and then no future?


MackM said...

"I appreciate that Obama tries to link his oratory to the Constitution and to MLK Jr., but it fails IMO. We in the first two actually does refer to a group. We in the last refers to Obama, royally.

Cringe"

But don't forget, Trump's hair is real, Trump made a point of saying so. Don't cringe.

wendybar said...

Ann, don't ya know?? Wee-wee'd up is all about ME!! Go through ANY of his speeches...it's all me, I, my ect....Most Narcissistic President ever!! Probably more so than the Donald!

Kevin said...

Says President pen and phone.

Kevin said...

Says President pen and phone.

Kevin said...

Says President pen and phone.

Robert Cook said...

Perhaps "Yes, we can" is possible, and is a powerful aspirational mantra, but, Barry, "No, you didn't."

Robert Cook said...

"Spoken like a true Borg member of the Collective."

No, spoken (however hypocritically from the servant-to-the-people-hating-plutocrats Obama) like someone who understands the way a self-governing people should work.

We are not a nation of 300 million individual sovereignties.

lemondog said...

The Loooooooog Goodbye.

As posted elsewhere Hit The Road Jack and don't ya come back no more......

Seeing Red said...

"We" overcame him.

madAsHell said...

"....but this is not who we are!"

PackerBronco said...

"We are not amused"

mockturtle said...

Quaestor at 5:52: I salute you! Great post.

Danno said...

I have no doubts that Obama will probably be remembered for having the "wee" Presidency.

Paul Snively said...

Says the most divisive President in my lifetime.

Jackass.

Robert Cook said...

"Says the most divisive President in my lifetime."

I can think of several who were more divisive: Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 2.

The divisiveness attached to Obama had to do with the deep confusion among Republicans, (a far more belligerent and reactionary party overall than ever in its history), about who he was: he was a moderately liberal Republican, (or a conservative Democrat), and they saw him as a rabid Marxist.

The democrats were also deeply confused about who Obama was: many saw him as Martin Luther King's progeny, when he was MLK's exact obverse, a betrayer of everything MLK fought for and stood for.

SoLastMillennium said...

WEEE! Wee Wee? We will, We will rock you!


May have been to busy with my drunk watching of the inauguration...

hstad said...

Former President Obama has an absolute talent for saying things that make no sense!

Bob Loblaw said...

I can think of several who were more divisive: Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 2.

In that list only Nixon comes close, and he still only comes close. Obama and his cronies have elevated the taking of offense to high social status, and that's incredibly corrosive. The phony victim claims, the safe spaces, the hounding out of public spaces of anyone who has a different opinion... the bill for all that is coming due.